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I CONFESS: Bad choices haunting me


I CONFESS: Bad choices haunting me

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THE CHOICES YOU make in life matter. After years of no progress in my life with a cycle of hardship and recurring poor relationships, I know from personal experience what I am saying. I can now admit to myself and to those who would have warned me that many of the options I took in my life were not the wisest. And today it seems all have come  back to haunt me one time.

In fact, right now it seems that everything in life is going against me. I have nowhere safe to live, no job, no money and no one I can turn to for meaningful assistance as I have worn out the gratitude of the majority of people who have the resources to help me. My only child – the only true love of my life – has turned his back on me, and I am alone and lonely.

My life is such a mess that for the last week I have slept at different friends. I eat no more than once a day and it’s usually bread with either hot water or tea, or with a soft drink. I have not had a cooked meal in days and have no prospect of finding somewhere properly to live because I have no money.

It is because of my circumstances that I am speaking out. I want young women, in particular, to realise that you don’t remain youthful looking forever and your physical beauty fades as you age, and if that is what you rely heavily on to carry you through life, then you are destined to end up like me – poor, uneducated, abused and desperate.

I was born and grew up in a poor family in a depressed community. I never did well in anything at primary school, and in my two years at the secondary level I was known best for fighting. I never used to trouble people, but if anyone interfered with me like telling me how I always hungry and begging for food, it was a fight.

I didn’t get kicked out of school for fighting, though. Before that could happen, I had to leave school at 15 because I became pregnant for an older boy at the school. And from the time my son was born I became my own woman working for my own money.

There are few things I have not done to earn money. I worked in construction, in gas stations, at restaurants, in manufacturing companies, vending – anything that would earn me an honest dollar. One thing I never did was prostitute myself. I always had great pride in myself and always felt that I would get through somehow.

But the temptation to do that was always there, and men, recognising your situation, would offer you money for sex. But not me; though I had plenty boyfriends I went out with a guy because I liked him and not for money.

Of course that did not go well with some men because they thought that as long as a woman is poor and in need she would give into them for money. So because I didn’t I used to be mocked as being poor great or think that I’m more special than anybody else, and so on. What hurt was that older women I worked with, who should have defended and help me cope with this, would encourage me to take the money. Their reasoning was always that it was better to get paid than continue giving away what you have for free.

At home was a major challenge too. My mum was really disappointed when I got pregnant, and it made our relationship even more testy. We just could not get along and were always quarrelling. To this day, though I love her and I know she cares about me, we still can’t get along well for long.

The major problem between us was and still is how she defended my brother when he tried to take advantage of me. That became unbearable, so at 18 I left home and since then I have been battling on my own.

Now after two decades, I am back to square one. I had a health crisis which, coupled with my lack of money, made me have to move back in with my mother though our relationship has not improved. As she is not well herself, we have few clashes; but the problem is with my brother who is still around her after all these years.

Our unpleasant history involves him stealing from me and beating me up on more than one occasion. In every case the matter ends with me being out of pocket and in pain, yet my mother always took his side, and stopped me from calling the police.

Since moving back he has threatened me, but with mummy ailing and his criminal record, she has begged me not to do anything about his threats as she fears he would be sent back to prison, and she can’t stand to see him locked away again.

For her sake I have done nothing so far, but I’m afraid to sleep in the house at night because that is when he comes in after drinking at a nearby shop and gets on ignorant. Mum is usually sleeping strong at that time, so it would only be he and I. It is a pity a middle-aged man like my brother wouldn’t get his own place and stop scotching with his mother.

The one person I lived for and had all hopes to raise to be better than me was my son, but it seems he is determined to make his own way in life. He lives with a woman but I pray every day that he stays on the straight and narrow as me instilled in him, as any other road is a dead end.

This is my life; it is not pretty but I have to live with the consequences of my actions. I can only hope that some of you reading this would learn from my mistakes, get a good education and lift yourself up.